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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a new digitally restored, full-length version of ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp’ (1943) on Wednesday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. This West Coast premiere will feature an introduction by three-time Oscar-winning film editor Thelma Schoonmaker. The film was restored by the Academy Film Archive, in association with the British Film Institute, ITV Studios Global Entertainment Ltd and the Film Foundation.
Inspired by a satiric cartoon character created by newspaper cartoonist David Low, “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp” tells a story both epic and deeply personal as it follows the 40-year career of a British Army officer from the Boer War to World War II. Created by the dynamic British writing-directing-producing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (whose longtime partnership would ultimately produce 22 pictures), the lavish Technicolor production features tour-de-force performances by Roger Livesey and Deborah Kerr.
The film created much controversy during its initial release in Great Britain in 1943 for its satire of British Army leadership and sympathetic depiction of a German officer. The film did not reach the United States until 1945, when its original running time of 163 minutes was cut to 148 minutes and then to 93 minutes. This digital restoration now offers audiences the opportunity to view the work in its entirety and experience its full power. Schoonmaker, Powell’s widow, served as the supervising consultant on the restoration, alongside Film Foundation founder Martin Scorsese. She has won Academy Awards® for Film Editing for ‘The Departed’, ‘The Aviator’ and ‘Raging Bull’, and earned nominations for ‘Hugo’, ‘Gangs of New York’, ‘Good Fellas’ and ‘Woodstock’.
Tickets for ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp’ are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office, or by mail. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Ticketed seating is unreserved.
In other news, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has promoted Megan Clarke to the newly created post of Managing Director, Information Technology, Academy COO Ric Robertson announced recently. Clarke will report directly to Robertson.
“Megan is a talented executive who is leading our efforts on a number of important and exciting initiatives,” said Robertson. “Our reliance on her skills is only going to increase in the coming months and years.”
Clarke has been a member of the Academy staff since 2008. In that time, she has steered efforts to overhaul the Academy’s technological infrastructure and helped to ensure the integrity, longevity and security of millions of pieces of data.
In her new position, Clarke will be responsible for devising and implementing a unified technology strategy for each of the Academy’s various departments and for the organization as a whole. Supervising a team of in-house staff members, independent contractors and development partners, Clarke will help define the Academy’s short- and long-term technology needs and oversee a number of major projects designed to meet them. These endeavors include the consolidation of multiple databases used by different arms of the Academy as well as a new approach to digital asset management. This initiative will ensure that millions of Academy assets, including the posters and still photographs housed at the Margaret Herrick Library, will be efficiently digitized, archived and made accessible. Most notably, Clarke will supervise the Academy’s transition to electronic voting for the upcoming 85th Academy Awards.
Prior to joining the Academy staff, Clarke spent five years at the Recording Academy, co-producers of the annual Grammy Awards, where she last held the title of Chief Information Officer.